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The Cost of War: Are Americans disconnected from the country's wars?

M2X00187_9.JPG Tommy Sowers, who completed two tours of duty in Iraq, is running for Congress. (Photo by Jerome T. Nakagawa for The Washington Post)

In his bid for a House seat in the 8th District of Missouri, former Army Green Beret Tommy Sowers stumps with a pledge to help end the war in Afghanistan. The 34-year-old Iraq war veteran said lawmakers can be "ill-informed at best" when making decisions that affect the military. (View his journey in photos here.)

But Sowers's message is reaching an American public that seems indifferent to military conflict this election season. Very few Americans -- about one in 20 -- said war is the country's most pressing issue when asked by Gallup last month. (Poll: Do you think Americans are disconnected from the country's wars?)

But your engaged responses to our #costofwar series don't reflect indifference. Fatigue, anger and fear, maybe, but not apathy.

  • Last week, The Post published a multimedia series about traumatic brain injuries sustained by military personnel. Since 2000, 180,000 traumatic brain injuries have been diagnosed, and some patient advocates say hundreds, if not thousands, more have suffered undiagnosed brain injuries. Some of you shared your personal stories, but, more important, you shared the story with others:

    You should all check out the WashPost article on TBI. No scars does not equal no pain. #costofwarless than a minute ago via web

  • After it was reported that 2010 had officially become the deadliest year for the U.S.-led international force in Afghanistan, you told us how the war had affected your lives, communities and personal relationships:

    I watched 10 military marriages fall apart. One of them was mine. #costofwarless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

Your Take: Has our cultural opinion changed on war? Are we tired, preoccupied or just aloof? Use #costofwar to respond and we'll post some of your tweets in this blog.

your take here.

@washingtonpost #costofwar Our govt. never asked us to engage w/ them in Iraq/Afghan wars. Told us to shop. Is apathy/disillusion a surpriseless than a minute ago via web

@washingtonpost If it isn't directly in front of them or affecting them (economy & jobs), people tend to put it down on the list. #costofwarless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

By Katie Rogers  | October 12, 2010; 2:03 PM ET
Categories:  Your Take  
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